Fourth Grade Art Kits - Descriptions & Links to Lesson Plans

9 months ago

36 Views of Mendenhall Glacier

Students are inspired Hokusai’s 36 Views of Mt. Fuji.  They create their own view of the Mendenhall Glacier using Mark Kelley’s photos.  Watercolor pencil painting techniques are used as students learn about contour lines, shading, background, middle ground, foreground, and the importance of contrast, to create their view of the glacier.

watercolor pencil drawings

Action Figure Collage

Students look at and learn about the collages of contemporary artist Miriam Schapiro. Students use a mannequin to draw and create a colorful paper collage “action figure,” showing themselves doing something they enjoy. They give credit to the person who taught them this skill.

paper collage

African Painted Walls

Students ‘travel’ to the region of Burkina Faso in Western Africa to learn about the well-known painted houses. After studying the artists and their work, students create a narrative wall painting using cut silhouettes and paint. They incorporate patterns and traditional or personal symbols into their work.

painting of African animals

Alaska Postcards

In this indoor lesson,students mimic the art of painting outdoors, “plein air painting”. They learn to show “perspective” in a landscape and, using special paintbrushes which hold water, they make a small watercolor sketch landscape of a region of the Alaska. These can be used as postcards.


Student watercolor of Alaskan landscape

Alaskan Landscapes with Georgia O'Keeffe

Students study the life and art of Georgia O’Keeffe, focusing on her landscape painting. They create cut paper and oil pastel landscapes working from photos of Alaska. 

Oil pastel drawing of mountain

Aleut Basket Painting

Students learn about Aleut basket weaving techniques. They learn to weave a basic pattern and use tempera paint to create a  repeated motif on their weaving.

Samples of student paper weavings

Alutiiq Masks

Students learn the amazing story of the rediscovered masks from Kodiak Island, Alaska. They create a paper mask that explores 3 dimensions, simulates being made of wood, and includes traditional features. They present their mask as a museum exhibit. 

paper masks

Athabascan Beading

Students look at Athabascan beading samples and decide if they were made “before contact” or “after contact,” to re-enforce the concept of changes occurring in the lifestyle of the Athabascan people after contact with foreigners who into the interior. Students learn simple beading technique and bead a sampler of either a flower pattern or a caribou pattern.

student beading sampler

Asian Bamboo Painting

Students discuss the meaning of tradition as applied to Chinese/Japanese painting and calligraphy. They practice brushstrokes using traditional tools, create paintings of bamboo, mount them scroll-style with patterned borders and finish them by stamping with a red signature chop.

painting of bamboo

Athletes in Motion

Students learn about the Arctic Winter Games and create a abstract artwork of one of the competitive indoor sports.  Students focus on what a body looks like while playing a sport, using a stamping technique.

picture of athletes

Bird Drawing with Bill Berry

Students learn about wildlife Alaskan artist Bill Berry. He is best known for his animal studies, published field sketchbook and children’s books.  Students examine an Alaskan bird photograph with care and practice different drawing exercises. Lastly they produce a complete bird drawing.

pencil drawing of bird


Book Binding: Nature Books

Students are introduced to the ancient and still vibrant art of book binding. The lesson guides them through steps to fold and sew pages into a binding, and create a nature- themed cover. The teacher can choose to add more pages and change the theme of the cover. 

        handmade book

Butterfly Paper Sculptures

Artists and designers often look to nature for inspiration. French artist and naturalist E.A. Seguy drew intricate scientific illustrations of butterflies and created designs based on his drawings. Students learn about Seguy and produce a 3 dimensional paper sculpture butterfly with colored paper and oil pastel patterns.

paper sculpture of butterfly

Cans with Andy Warhol

Students will be introduced to the artist Andy Warhol, famous for his Pop Art paintings of Campbell's Soup cans. Students will also learn that Warhol had a career as a graphic artist. Students will create their own labeled can to hold whatever humorous or imaginative things they want to contain or preserve.

3-D paper can

Caribou on the Tundra

Students learn about the habits and habitat of caribou and their relationship to Athabascan people. They draw lichen growing on the tundra using layers of land to show perspective. Tissue paper and watercolor paint embellish the caribou on the tundra collage.

mixed media caribou picture

Centennial Bridge

Students learn about the Alaskan Native artist Ron Senungetuk. He designed a landmark bridge in Fairbanks. Students design and create a 2-D abstract bridge from construction paper.  Each student bridge contains exactly 100 pieces of paper, through a cutting exercise directed by the lesson.

collage of bridge

Clay Faces

In this simple clay lesson, students learn about a local artist who experiences disabilities. They are inspired by her style of creating expressive faces from clay and create their own "series" of faces which show emotion and expression. Students learn clay techniques of hand building with "slabs" and joining clay with scoring and using "slip." Students clay faces can be fired in school kilns and then used by students for story telling/writing about their characters.

collage of bridge

Constructing Characters

Students used lines and shapes to build the bodies, heads, arms and legs of characters. This style of “constructive drawing” is used by cartoon artists. They added many unique details to show the personality of their character.

student drawn cartoon character

Cut Paper Pictures

Students learn to use the four artist tools of color, shape, size and space to change the meaning of simple cut paper pictures. They create a "scene" that shows an event. The resulting picture primes them for writing a narrative of before, during and after this scene, complete with characters, setting and details.

student drawn cartoon character

Drawing from Observation

Aquatic Insects:  Students slow down and follow the details and fine lines of their subject. Drawing as careful observers, they learn about their subject as they go. They learn cross-hatching techniques for adding value and use these as they finish their drawing with a fine point black pen.

drawing of a dragon fly

Drawing from Observation: Fossils

This lesson engages the students in artful thinking around a facinating fossil themed painting, leading them to curiosity around fossils. The class set of fossils provided in the kit allows kids the opportuntity to study and draw, building knowledge and developing q

drawing of a dragon fly

Drawing from Observation: Teeth and Jaws

As student draw local animal teeth they consider the how the structure gives clues to the the animals eating habits and survival. Students compare their drawings to an "herbivore/onmivore/carnivore chart to determine more information about the animal. The class set of teeth and jaws must be borrowed from Discovery Southeast for this lesson. (Easy to do!)

drawing of a dragon fly

Erosion and Deposition: Science, Drama and Art

A STEAM partner lesson to the Erosion and Deposition with Stream Tables Science Kit. Students use Thinking Routines to learn about Erosion and Deposition patterns through visual art pieces and local photographs. They then engage in a simple and well-structured drama experience that brings home the different erosion and deposition pattern of a landslide and a flood.

drawing of a dragon fly

Giant Steps: Art and Jazz

Students are inspired by a brief lesson in jazz history. They are introduced to the music of John Coltraine. Students recognize similarities in jazz music and art. They create mixed media art, combining painted watercolor shapes with scratch-foam block printing.

colorful print

Haida Readers Theatre (Drama kit)

Students create the magic of a mini-readers-theatre production and the acting technique,"tableau," while learning about Southeast Alaska Native Haida culture. The Sealaska Heritage Institute has granted special permission to use this abridged version of The Woman Carried Away by Killer Whales from Our Ancestor’s Stories: Readers Theater Adaptations from Southeast Alaska Native Legends From the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian, written by Annie Boochever in collaboration with the Sealaska Heritage Institute.

photo of student acting

Hokusai Insect Prints

Students learn about the Japanese printmaker Katsushika Hokusai, best known for his print “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa”. They will create Japanese children’s style prints from collage (called a “collograph”), using insects as imagery.

print of an insect

Invent and Draw a Robot

Students learn about the Japanese printmaker Katsushika Hokusai, best known for his print “The Great Wave Off Kanagawa”. They will create Japanese children’s style prints from collage (called a “collograph”), using insects as imagery.

two creative machines

Jellybean Books

Students write a color poem using their five senses. They will create a small “jellybean” book and decorate it using a simple painting technique, sequins, beads, etc.... Students then embellish their original poems further. These go great in a jar, to be shared like “jelly beans” now and again when you want a “treat!”

little book

Landscapes of the Iditarod

After viewing Iditarod photos and landscapes by Alaskan painters, students paint the background, middle ground, and foreground of an Alaskan landscape, demonstrating a change in value to help build a sense of depth, perspective.

painting of winter landscape

Ocean Life Diorama

Students create a coral reef marine habitat complete with all the components that live in the habitat using oil pastels and construction  paper.

3-D ocean diarama

Olanna's Paper Sculptures

Students learn about the Alaskan Native artist Melvin Olanna. His stylized sculptures reflect his Inupiaq culture. Students create simple animal shapes from paper, using a paper scoring technique to make them 3D. Paper sculptures are mounted on a background based on an Alaskan landscape.

paper picture of a seal

Patterned Pottery Birds

Students are inspired by the 4,000 year old Vucedol Dove. They learn about the archaeological site in Croatia where the clay bird was discovered. Students make a  pottery bird  using templates, and incorporating basic clay techniques for construction. After applying underglaze to the bird, students create an original pattern, and scratch the design into the surface of their bird.

little patterned birds

Paper Quilts

Students work in small cooperative groups to agree on a set of artistic “rules” regarding a species of butterfly.  Each child then makes a cut paper collage that follows those rules, and the group presents their unique, but similar artworks in a group “paper quilt.”

student holding artwork

Rachel Carson's Silent Spring

Students learn about the life of writer, biologist and conservationist, Rachel Carson. Students learn to use complementary colors to show the effects of pollution on their plant. They create a before and after line drawing of an Alaskan plant using watercolor paints for color, and mixing complementary colors for gray and brown.

wilting plant

Raven Sculptures with John Hoover

Students learn about Alaskan Aleut sculptor John Hoover and study two of his raven sculptures, looking for shape and texture. After learning interesting scientific facts about ravens, they draw and cut raven sculpture mobiles.

hanging paper raven

Salmon Summer in Kodiak

Through the book Salmon Summer in Kodiak, students learn about an Aleut boy who lives on Kodiak Island and fishes for salmon. Students create a 2D painting with warm or cool colors and incorporate designs inspired by salmon and traditional Aleut hunting hats.

patterned fish

Shells with Georgia O'Keeffe

Students learn about the life and art of Georgia O’Keefe, focusing on her large, close-up paintings of shells. They play an observation game of hunting for shape, pattern, and texture on photos of real shells, and then they use oil pastels to create a four-section study of actual shells.

pastel drawing of shells

Sitka Spruce and Hemlock

Students become familiar with the shapes and textures in Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce. They practice different pencil strokes and values, then draw a  landscape featuring these specific local trees.

pencil drawing of trees

Snowflake Prints

Students explore connections between math, science and art through studying the beauty and structure of snowflakes.  They examine the snowflake photographs of scientists Wilson Bentley and Kenneth Libbrecht, creating original snowflake prints and cut-paper snowflake designs which demonstrate radial symmetry.

snowflake print

Soap Carving

Students learn about Unangan artist, Gertrude Svarny, from Unalaska. She carves soapstone, wood, ivory and other materials, creating “subtractive sculptures.” Students carve a small sculpture out of ivory soap. Bars of soap, patterns and tools are included to ensure student success. 

ivory soap carvings

Spaces in Between

Students will see the amazing artwork of the cut paper artist, Beatrice Coron, and through her work, learn about the art concept of “negative space.”  Students will each create a cut paper silhouette of a figure and add their “window” to a class city mural. Includes writing lesson!

silhouettes of people

Spirit Masks

Students examine and discuss contemporary and traditional Yupik masks. Several elements are recognized and incorporated in a mask related to the student’s life and interests.

paper mask

Stomp to the Music

Students  learn about rhythm, movement, and texture  in the context of sound and image. They create their own watercolor resist using color, line, and texture to demonstrate principles of both art and music.

colorful art


Students are inspired by the Caldecott award winning book, First the Egg, by Brenda Vaccaro Seeger. Students explore the concept of “transformations.” Using oil pastels, scissors, and incorporating complementary colors, students create their own transformation two-page book.

drawings of cloth

Tolerance Banners

After viewing and discussing the images of the United Nations Six Flags of Tolerance, students create a positive-negative design based on a Japanese paper cutting technique called Notan.

black and blue art

Water Dance

Students are inspired by the book, Water Dance. They become familiar with the artwork by Spencer Reynolds, and create moving water pictures in his style, incorporating bold colors, and repeating lines and shapes. Students use watercolor crayons to create their “Water Dance.”

watercolor pencil drawing